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Media Release: #FeesMustFall - NAPTOSA reacts to the current student protest

NAPTOSA COMPARES THE INACTION OF GOVERNMENT IN THE CURRENT STUDENT PROTEST TO “EMPEROR NERO WHO ‘FIDDLED’ WHILE ROME BURNED”
It is unbelievable that in a democracy achieved through the sacrifice of thousands we are faced with images reminiscent of the student uprising in the 70s, said Mr. Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA). How does one comprehend the recklessness of Higher Education Institutions and the Department of Higher Education to allow such a situation to prevail? he added.
Mr Manuel stated that, while NAPTOSA does not condone any violence, NAPTOSA empathises with the plight of the students and their parents. NAPTOSA supports the students in their fight for affordable education. Promises of a better future sadly is reserved for the privileged few, he said. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to expand, while the majority of children whose parents are the poorest of the poor continue to struggle, he added.
NAPTOSA regrets the call on 2015 Matrics to join the protest as this is not only irresponsible but also does not advance the future of our children, said Mr Manuel. We need to stop this abhorrent culture of sacrificing the education of our children every time government fails at something, he added.
Ironically, during the storming of Parliament yesterday, the Minister of Finance continued to deliver his 2015 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, for 2015/16. The finance minister did not allocate extra money to universities to fund Higher Education, but went on to speak of, “the important conversations are not about computer programmes or mechanical tools. They are about our children, and how we value their future”. All this while our children protested outside for what really is their right, said Mr Manuel
The inaction of the Minister of Higher Education is also worrying. He continued with the Higher Education (HEI) summit as the “NO fee Increase” campaign gained momentum and indicated that the protest is “Not a Crises”, said Mr Manuel. This inaction by government is contributing to the country becoming the 2015 “Protest Capital”, he said.
NAPTOSA also understands the need for HEIs to increase fee, hence NAPTOSA calls on the Government to take greater responsibility for its children and act expeditiously, said Mr Manuel. Therefore NAPTOSA calls for the revision of the funding model of universities that must give recognition to the plight of the poor.
END OF STATEMENT
Mr Basil Manuel
President
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